OCEAN CITY, Md. (WJZ) — Tropical Storm Elsa moved through Maryland’s coastal communities, including Ocean City, overnight. And while storm’s winds and heavy rains woke people up, by Friday morning the calm returned to the beachside town.

Rain and wind gusts picked up in Ocean City Thursday night as Tropical Storm Elsa took aim at Maryland’s coastline.

It was dry for most of the morning and many beachgoers tried to make the best of a day with gray skies. But at night, the boardwalk was wet and windy as Elsa’s bands hit Maryland.

There were some really violent storms that move through overnight, including a tornado warning around midnight.

A lot of people got the alerts on their phones. Some people staying in hotels got in the elevator went down to the first floor for safety. While there were no reports of any injuries, it really was a bit of a rough night as Elsa moved through.

“Lots of rain, lots of wind, the wind is picking up drastically,” said one visitor.

Umbrellas were out for the first tropical weather system in the season that brought with it a tornado threat, several inches of heavy rain and gusty winds.

“It’s very brutal,” said a young woman.

Many who have been homebound during the pandemic, are not letting the storm ruin their vacations.

The surf started getting a little rougher earlier in the day and lifeguards will be monitoring for dangerous rip currents into Friday.

The emergency services director hoped this would be a quick-moving storm.

“It’s certainly the first tropical event that we’re going to experience for the year, so it’s a wake up call for the departments and the community to get ready,” said Ocean City Emergency Services Director Joe Theobald. “We think we’re going to do just fine in communities ready and let’s get back into business.

The National Weather Service predicted three to four inches of rain and winds reaching up to 50 miles per hour beginning Thursday night.

Ocean City Emergency Management has made preparations like closing the seawall and removing things from the beach. Several events are canceled in the city Thursday night, such as the downtown Drone Show, Beach Dance Party and Sunset Park Party Night.

Emergency Management said you can keep up with the latest updates by:

  • Following the city’s Facebook, Twitter, or Website
  • Tuning in to the FM Advisory Station 99.5
  • Watching the Town of Ocean City Access Channels 4 & 15
  • Or subscribing to emergency alerts by visiting here

Worcester County Emergency Services is urging residents to take precautions.

In preparation for high winds, secure anything outside that could cause damage. Secure boats, lawn furniture, trash cans and anything else that could go flying at peak winds.

Emergency Services said to also make these preparations:

  • Gather flashlights, batteries, and a portable radio in the event of a power outage.
  • Keep water and canned/packaged foods on hand that does not require cooking or refrigeration.
  • Always avoid traveling on or crossing flooded roadways, and heed the public service message, “Turn Around, Don’t Drown.”
  • Swimmers, don’t enter the water if unsure of conditions. Nearly all rip deaths happen at unguarded beaches or after guards have left.

Anyone living in flood-prone homes should prepare to evacuate in the case of flooding.

St. Mary’s County has issued a state of emergency as they prepare for Elsa.

Stay up-to-date with the latest forecast by downloading the WJZ weather app.